Today is David Lynch‘s birthday, with the auteur turning 74 human years old—in Lynch years it’s a number both unspeakable and beautiful—and to celebrate the occasion, a Lynch written/directed/edited short film just dropped on Netflix. Now, What Did Jack Do? is “new” in the sense it already premiered in 2018 at the filmmaker’s Festival of Disruption, but this is by far the most widely available the short has been, giving millions of people the chance to watch David Lynch interrogate a capuchin monkey in a tiny little suit who may or may not have committed a murder.
What Did Jack Do? is about 17 minutes long, shot in grainy black and white, and sees Lynch playing a detective across from a monkey, Jack, wanted in connection with the murder of Max Clegg. There’s also a brief musical interlude. It’s funny, it’s aggressively strange, it’s briefly goddamn terrifying. It’s quintessential Lynch, basically, and I can’t recommend enough spending 17 minutes of your Monday watching the director sit stone-faced across from an uncooperative murder suspect monkey who is saying stuff like “Shelby was banging Sally like there was no tomorrow and yesterday was gone.” (The monkey is credited as “himself”, because of course, but it is also 100% voiced by David Lynch.)
In a perfect world, this random short film drop would be a sign of Netflix testing the David Lynch waters with its audience. It was reported recently that the streaming service plans on spending a mind-boggling $17.3 billion on content, so why not throw Lynch a cool couple hundred million and let him get nutty?